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By: Michael Lingaard

The Other Side of Magik

Pages: 258 Ratings: 5.0
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Imagine a world where history and nature took a slightly different path… Harold won the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the DNA spiral is left-handed, dragons are real, werewolves can get a pension, electricity doesn’t work…and magic does.

England is a twenty-first-century world of steam buggies and airships, a world in which magic is the science that binds the fabric of society. This science could offer a great future for its students, including sixteen-year-old Garreth Aldredge.

In The Other Side of Magik, Garreth, along with Danny, his double in the parallel universe that is our universe, are sucked into each other’s world because a mandrake needs a body to inhabit, a body that is impervious to magic.

Can Wizard Emeritus Salamander Ord save Danny from being inhabited by the soul of an evil mandrake and return Garreth and Danny to their rightful worlds?

There is an alternative reality to the universe we know and understand. A very close and similar reality that is almost exactly the same, almost normal and familiar…except for some minor deviations. History there took a slightly different path.

The Other Side of Magik is a mesmerising story that may just be true… if you allow yourself to believe.

Michael Lingaard is a daydreamer. He was dragged around the world from a very early age – new countries, new people, new dreams. Born in England, he was taken as a young kid to Australia, where his parents had dreams of a new life. At twelve years of age, those dreams took them to New Zealand where college, then engineering gave him that which he draws on today: inquisitiveness, logic, appreciation of the written word, the ability to just think and day-dreaming. He later moved to Australia to chase a career, got married, had two children, then started a business. However, the daydreams never went away, so he decided to convert them into making stuff up and putting it down in books.

Customer Reviews
4 reviews
4 reviews
  • Liz Konkel

    The Other Side of Magik: The First Tale of the Mirror Worlds by Michael Lingaard is the story of two parallel worlds whose fate is in the hands of two teenage boys. Danny is from twenty-first century England where his life is so ordinary that it's a bit boring, while Garreth is from old fashioned Angland, a parallel world where in 1066 Harold won the battle of Hastings and put events on a different path. As Theolonia concocts a plan to resurrect her mandrake brother by having him possess a body impervious to magic, a spell brings Danny into Angland and sends Garreth back in his place. Danny turns to Wizard Salamander Ord for help to stop the mandrake's plan and save both worlds.

    Michael Lingaard has set up intriguing worlds that mirror each other, but have very noticeable differences: one is the world that we know today while the other has carriages and is run by magic. Danny and Garreth are from different histories, but they're reflections of each other so they're able to fit almost flawlessly into each other's world and even find a place with the other's family. Garreth and Danny both feel out of place. Danny battles with a lot of expectations that people have for him, but he doesn't know where he's going in life, while Garreth has a dream of working his way up the magic ladder which crashes down when he's told that he failed. Through their switch, they're able to actually discover what their place is in their own world.

    Most of the characters involved are from Garreth's world so they're magic based, from wizards to werewolves, and are incredibly charming. Theolonia is a layered character haunted by her brother and, though she's enacting an evil plan of bringing him back, she still maintains an air of sympathy about her. The Other Side of Magik is a coming of age adventure with humor and charm, magic and dragons, and the fun of parallel worlds.

  • Nathan Brazil

    'The old man walked around the young man, sniffing. "I smell things, lad," he told Danny. "Things that are wrong; things that don't belong." He peered into Danny's eyes, examining him. The stare from the yellow eyes was unblinking and very disconcerting. Danny felt he was being pulled apart bit by bit.'
    In recent years there has been a parade of writers following in J.K. Rowling's enormously successful footsteps. Most of them don't come close, and many of the books they've produced are a waste of good trees. Happily, The Other Side of Magik is not among the also rans. It's an accomplished light fantasy, that from the outset is above most of its contemporaries. Author, Michael Lingaard, has done what so many writers fail to do; he understands his own creation. As a result, his story comes across as well conceived and highly credible. The action takes place mostly in Angland, on an alternate Earth on the other side of the mirror, where "magik" is a reality, and physics does not permit the development of electrical power. In Angland, DNA spirals to the left, and people travel in steam-buggies and airships. Geography and history are similar to the world we know, but differ at key points. The story centres on two teenage boys, Danny Royce, a disaffected wastrel from our reality, and Garreth Royal, a budding wizard who has just failed to make the grade. Both become unwitting victims of a devious, and ingenious magical body-snatch. An ageing, powerful wizard named Theolonia Crabbe has been forced to spend most of her life sharing her mind, and sometimes her body, with twin brother Horatio. He is a formless, evil entity, assumed to have been dead for decades. Unfortunately for his sister, Horatio was born a mandrake, and has used his powers to eke out a parasitical life within her mind. Theolonia, desperate to rid herself of his malign influence, has remade a legendary artefact; the Book of Null. This is a magical tome which, under the right circumstances, can be used to exchange minds and bodies with counterparts beyond the mirror. In Angland, a body which comes from the other side has the innate ability to cancel out constructed magic; the devastating power of the null. The dark plan set in motion is to exchange Garreth for Danny, and then let the mandrake forcibly steal his body.
    English born, New Zealand raised and Australia domiciled, Michael Lingaard uses well defined characterisation and clear plotting as the foundations of a cracking story. One sign of a better than average writer is when peripheral characters are utilised to the full, and in The Other Side of Magik there are no cardboard cut-outs, or red shirts. Whenever supporting characters appear, it's for a reason. Their presence adds either to the plot or the development of major characters. Lingaard's skill shows again in the way he pays attention to the little things; constructed magic, such as spells, does not work in England, but sympathetic earth magic is alive and well. One of the amusing aspects of this, we discover, via Garreth, now inhabiting Danny's body, is how it can be employed on the used car sales lot where Danny's father works, to pair up prospective buyers with cars they will like. Meanwhile, back in Angland, Danny, inhabiting Garreth's body, is finding his way in a wonderfully realised world without electrical power. Most enjoyable among the Angland cast are Mr. Toast, Garreth's big fat and telepathic family cat, and Afferton Smythe, who begins the story as an elderly werewolf, blessed with the ability to literally sniff out magical corruption. As the lads get used to their strange new worlds, and the furtive, if innocent, delights of each other's girlfriends, master wizard Salamander Ord seeks to unravel what has happened. What the good guys do not suspect, is that the mandrake is lurking, waiting for the opportunity to claim his prize. When he finally makes his move, the author does something that I've wanted a fantasy writer to do for many years. He applies realistic concerns to the gathering followers of evil. Instead of the usual fantasy cliché, where nasty cronies blindly follow a homicidal maniac, we find that the best of the bad bunch have learned from the past. Yes, they recognise the power and potential of a living, breathing mandrake, but they have no intention of giving him authority over their lives unless he agrees to certain conditions. Thus do we learn that the ultimate bane of the newly risen Dark Lord may be consensus politics.
    Aside from wanting another hundred pages, not because the story needed it, but because I was enjoying it so much, the only negatives were the position of the six page alternate history prologue, which I felt would've been better as an appendix, and the early overshadowing of Danny and Garreth by more charismatic characters. However, I should make it clear that The Other Side of Magik is not intended to be the story of any one or two people. The mirror worlds are the real focus, and that leaves the way open for all manner of fascinating developments as the series progresses. At least two more books are planned, according to the author's web site. Only time and fate will tell, but among the farts and hooligans of big league publishing, there are still a few canny heads blessed with the ability to spot a potential big winner. The Other Side of Magik is just the kind of book they should be looking for.
    Rune Warning. Beware this ancient book is a doorway to another realm where al is different and strange, around this world lies another, where boundaries of what we know alter.

  • Anonymous

    “The genius behind this book is definitely worth more than 5 stars! Since this book is set in England and Angland (The mirror world of it)
    It takes a few chapters but once you are introduced to this whole new world it is even more amazing than the Harry Potter world!-I know that is a strong statement but delve into this book and you will see how correct I am.
    The characters are SO well written and expressed that you can’t help but see them and their personality in your mind's eye as if they stood before you. And the same for the descriptions of the settings.
    It is Such a brilliant book! what a GENIUS idea of writing and creating The Other Side of Magik!”

  • Online Book Club

    In 1066, in the magik world, Harold conquered his enemies to rule over the nation of “Angland.” In another world, a realm void of magik and propelled by science, William is on England’s throne after defeating Harold. Harold should have lost the war in both worlds but found a way to cross into the science world and return with an advantage, the power to nullify magik. The Book of Null was used as the doorway between the worlds. However, since then, the book has been proscribed and seems to be forgotten.

    Meanwhile, today, beneath the icy wastes of the North in the magik world, a scribe of the dragon-folk looks into a basalt mirror and sees ripples that speak of the disruption of space and time. Only one conclusion can be drawn from what the scribe has seen. The Book of Null has been found and used again. Someone has opened the doorway between the realms. Who has done this and why? Will he/she succeed in their mischievous plans? What are the repercussions of this act on both worlds? What actions will the mages of the magik world take to thwart the culprit’s plan? Find out the answers to these compelling questions and more in this marvelous piece of fiction named The Other Side of Magik: The First Tale of The Mirror Worlds by Michael Lingaard.

    I have read several books this year, and I can say with certainty that this novel easily beats the rest because of its unique storyline. I like how the story started with the writer explaining how the Book of Null helped create a change in the outcomes of the same war in the different worlds, which eventually led to the numerous variations that exist between the realms today. It made me understand how powerful the Book of Null was very early in the story. Because of that, when I read that the book was found by someone and used again, several years after being lost, the hair on the back of my neck stood, and I sensed trouble. I think it’s important for readers to understand the gravity of each conflict in a story, and the author does a good job of introducing the conflict of the story compellingly.

    Moreover, I loved the character development throughout the story. The way the author describes the characters, readers would easily connect with them, protagonists and antagonists alike. While I wanted the culprit not to succeed, I understood why they had to open the doorway. However, my favorite characters are Daniel and Gareth. I couldn’t choose between them. The two teenagers are doppelgangers, one from each world, and integral aspects of the culprit's plan. I liked the way they evolved, especially when they were swapped between realms. Needless to say, the author weaved the story into an impressive plot. I wasn’t confused at any point in the sequence of events. Also, the pacing of the book was just right. The way the book ends is also nice to read. It sets the pace for a second book, and I hope to read it soon.

    People that are interested in fiction books relating to mystery, magic, and alternate worlds would enjoy this novel. I recommend it to them.

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